Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Feature: Lisabet Sarai's Confused Characters! AND GIVEAWAY!

It's always a pleasure to have fellow Totally Bound author, Lisabet Sarai on the blog. She's got a great guestpost today, so I will let her get to it!

***Make sure you answer Lisabet's question to YOU so you can get entered in her drawing for an awesome read!***

Confused Characters

Romance heroines tend to be quite sure of themselves, at least as far as love is concerned. There are two common situations that show up again and again. In many stories, the heroine recognizes her soul mate early on. She and the hero struggle against the external obstacles to their eventual union: social, economic or cultural differences; war, disease or disaster; active resistance or meddling by villains or other ill-intentioned individuals. In other tales, the heroine starts out quite certain that the hero is not a good match, because he’s too young for her, perhaps, or too arrogant, or because they’re on the opposite or competing sides in some conflict (for instance, he’s a Federal agent and she’s a local police officer, as in C.A.’s Collision Force). In these stories, she must overcome the inner barriers separating her and her (eventual) mate.

Many of my books don’t fall into either of these patterns. Thinking about my most recent release, The Ingredients of Bliss, I realized that my heroines are frequently confused about their romantic fate. In my very first novel, Raw Silk, Kate is torn among three lovers, each of whom fulfills her needs in a different way. She ends up choosing one of them, but both she and the reader are in suspense for much of the book. In Wild About That Thing, Ruby Jones feels conflicted and guilty when the dashing René enters her life, making her question her passionate “friends-with-benefits” relationship with Zeke. The solution in this book is a polyamorous triad, not something Ruby would have ever considered until the two men who care for her suggest it.

Mei Lee “Emily” Wong has similar problems in The Ingredients of Bliss. Is her mild-mannered master Harry Sanborne meant to be the love of her life? Or the sexy, debonair chef Etienne Duvalier, who secretly wants to be her slave? When both guys end up in her bed together, does this mean the three of them can construct a long-term, stable triangle? Or will an attempt to satisfy both the submissive and the dominant aspects of Emily’s psyche just lead to pain and disappointment?

It may be that this recurring theme in my work harkens back to my own somewhat wild and crazy youth. At one point, I had several romantic relationships going on concurrently. I recall feeling the same sort of confusion when trying to understand just how each of the people with whom I was involved might fit into my future.

I do worry a bit that my heroines’ uncertainty might turn readers off. There’s not much I can do about it, though. As my hostess will undoubtedly confirm, characters tend to have minds of their own. If one of my heroines is confused, I have to wait for her to find her own answers. I can’t impose them.

What do you think?  Do characters need to be sure what they want? Or are you willing to let them discover their true desires over the course of a story? Leave me a comment with your answer (and your email address).  

I’ll draw one name and give away an ebook copy of my sexy music-themed ménage romance Wild About That Thing.

And before I forget, a big thanks to C.A. for having me as her guest. Actually, she will be at my blog tomorrow. I hope you’ll drop by for a visit!


The Ingredients of Bliss by Lisabet Sarai

One sexy French chef.One kinky American TV producer. One ambitious Chinese gal who thinks she wants them both. The ingredients of bliss? Or a recipe for disaster?

Accomplished cook Mei Lee ‘Emily’ Wong knows exactly what she wants—her own show on the Tastes of France food channel. But life is full of complications. First, her deceptively nerdy producer Harry Sanborne initiates Emily into the delights of submission. Then her boss, legendary chef Etienne Duvalier, begs her to dominate him. Emily just can’t resist—especially when Harry orders her to explore her inner mistress. Suave and sexy Etienne will do whatever she asks, in the bedroom if not in the kitchen. And Harry, her lovingly diabolical Dom, adores pushing Emily’s limits.

When the network sends the trio to France to shoot a series of cooking shows on location, Emily knows her career is on the upswing. Her plans fall apart in Marseille as a Hong Kong drug syndicate kidnaps both Etienne and Harry. The Iron Hammer Triad mistakes Etienne for notorious gangster Jean Le Requin, who has stolen their drug shipment, worth millions. Emily realizes she must find the real Le Requin, retrieve the purloined dope, and bargain it for Harry’s and Etienne’s lives. The secret she’s been keeping from Harry might prove useful. Still, what chance does one woman whose knife skills are limited to chopping vegetables have against the ruthless cruelty of two criminal organizations?

Read an Excerpt Here!

Buy it!

More Lisabet:

Amazon Author Page
Yahoo Group

About Lisabet:

Lisabet Sarai believes that imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Determined to live up to that motto, she has published more than fifty single author erotic titles and scores of sexy short stories, as well as editing nine acclaimed erotic anthologies. Lisabet has more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her chosen genre. A passionate traveler, she currently lives in Southeast Asia with her indulgent husband and two exceptional felines, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her creative writing.


  1. I think discovery of what they want makes for a good story. Confusion is good in the beginning.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi, Debby,

      Thanks for dropping by, and for sharing your thoughts.

  2. As long as there isn't too much wafflling or whining, I don't mind discovery. Sometimes very confident, self assured characters are harder to relate to. Congrats to Sarai on the new release and thanks for sharing!

    1. "Waffling or whining"! LOL. Have to watch out for them.

      Thanks for your comments, Erin!

  3. Not a big fan of characters who can't make up their minds

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. oh-oh... I appreciate your honest opinion! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. Wishy-washiness is annoying, but true discovery over the course of a story is realistic and interesting...

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

    1. I don't think anyone would call Emily "wishy washy". In my stories, the characters tend to be learning new things about themselves as the story progresses.

      Thanks for dropping by, Trix.

  5. Wishy washy characters are the bane of my reading experiences. Make up your minds, please!

    1. Hi, Kim,

      Do you think that "confused" and "wishy washy" are the same? I don't.

      Thanks for your comments.

  6. I have draw a winner. Congratulations to BN - and thanks to you all for participating!